Moving house and vacant properties
Moving in and Ingoing Works
The housing team are currently creating a new housing handbook, which will be available in 2023. This page may therefore not represent the most up-to-date information. For support, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
When a property becomes vacant, a member of the Team will carry out an inspection of the house in order to establish if improvements or repairs are necessary. Once an appointment is made a meeting will take place at the property with the Archdeacon of the Area, a member of the Team, the new occupier and possibly the churchwardens or other church representative to discuss any works that may be required. At that meeting the amount of any decoration and shelving grant is also agreed. Every endeavour is made to ensure that the Ingoing Works are completed before the occupier moves in but this does depend on the time scale involved and the scope of the works.
It is essential that a new occupier arranges to take over responsibility for the gas, electricity and telephone charges on the day of moving in with meter readings having been taken as appropriate. Details of these should be obtained from the Churchwardens or whoever has had care of the property while it has been vacant. It should be noted that, although a telephone line is normally available, the occupier is responsible for the line rental and any other charges in connection with the phone installation. The Diocese does not provide additional lines, points or equipment for fax machines, internet lines etc.
The Diocese pays for the buildings insurance on all its properties but please ensure that you advise your insurance company regarding your own contents insurance on your move.
Arrangements for Vacating a Property
The property should be left clean and tidy and free from any rubbish or unwanted furniture or possessions. If any fixtures and fittings are removed they should be replaced and the basic decorations should be made good in readiness for redecoration by your successor. If any light fittings are removed these should be replaced by a simple rose and pendant.
The meters at the property should be read and the reading agreed with either the Churchwardens or other person taking over responsibility for the building. Arrangements should be made for your final bills to be settled and for the name on accounts for the various utilities at the property to be changed as appropriate, usually to the PCC or London Diocesan Fund. If changed to the LDF the billing address should also be changed.
The property should be handed over with vacant possession and therefore all members of the family and anyone else living there should be fully prepared to move out on the same day. All sets of keys should be handed to the Churchwardens or other person responsible.
The existing telephone line should be maintained and not cut off so that it can be passed to the new occupier without incurring the cost of a reconnection, or having to amend church directories.
If the property is to be left empty, those who will be taking care of the property should ensure that either heating and water systems are turned off and the tanks drained down or, if more appropriate, kept running in order to maintain the house temperature at 10C during the winter months, with the heating controls set to operate twice per day.
While empty it is important to ensure that the property is safe from unwanted intruders by maintaining a ‘lived in’ appearance, by having lights on timer switches, curtains at the windows and keeping the grounds tidy. All locks, bolts and protective security devices should be put in to operation and it should be regularly visited to clear post and make sure all is in order. It is also wise to inform the local police that the property is empty.
During a long vacancy it is sometimes advisable to have the property occupied by caretakers or short term tenants – particularly when the property is located in a vulnerable area. Any occupancy should only be allowed under proper terms of an agreement drawn up by the Residential Property Manager.